The second most common cause of blindness, glaucoma damages the optic nerve as it carries visual information to the brain. A watery fluid termed aqueous humour is produced by the eye. Your eyes’ internal pressure is maintained by this fluid. Too much pressure can build up inside your eye if fluid cannot flow or if drainage canals are blocked. There are situations of glaucoma where the optic nerve is damaged because of insufficient blood supply.
Glaucoma can be discovered in its early stages, before any symptoms appear, during a normal eye exam. The “sneak thief of sight” moniker comes from the fact that it steals your focus without you even realising it. Up to 40 percent of optic nerve injury might occur before noticeable vision loss occurs. Preliminary diagnosis is crucial. While any damage done is permanent, the condition can be controlled and further harm avoided if detected early on.
Being over 45 years old, having diabetes, being nearsighted, being farsighted, having a history of ocular damage, or having a family history of glaucoma are all significant risk factors.
Different Glaucoma Subtypes
Common open-angle glaucoma
This type of Glaucoma affects more people than any other. In addition, the incidence rate skyrockets as people get older. A buildup of debris in the drainage canals can lead to increased pressure within the eye. Most people do not recognise the gradual deterioration of their centre vision until it has progressed from the periphery.
Acute angle-closure glaucoma
Angle closure glaucoma, in contrast to open-angle glaucoma, has extremely obvious symptoms and causes rapid eye damage. Pain, blurring of vision, headaches, nausea, and sudden vision loss are all symptoms of this rare kind of glaucoma. The appearance of halos around lights has also been noted by certain observers. Because of the rapid increase in eye pressure, this syndrome typically develops over the course of 24 to 48 hours. Angle-closure glaucoma can be reversed and permanent damage prevented if diagnosed and treated early.
Glaucoma, Tension Type, Normal
The optic nerve is injured even while intraocular pressure is normal, a condition known as low-tension or normal-pressure glaucoma. Much less is understood about closed-angle glaucoma than about open-angle glaucoma. There is a reason why even healthy eye pressure can damage the optic nerve.
Optometrists employ a variety of diagnostic tools, including an ophthalmoscope and a visual field test, to identify this type of glaucoma because so little is known about it. Glaucoma of normal tension is typically treated by lowering the ocular pressure to the lowest level possible, either with medication, laser treatment, or traditional surgery. This kind of glaucoma affects about 20% of people with the condition.
Anyone over the age of 45 should make it a yearly habit to check in with their local eye doctor to be sure their eyes are in good shape. There is a good reason why glaucoma is sometimes known as the “sneak thief of sight”; you may be experiencing optic nerve damage right now and be completely unaware of it. Instead, it is best to err on the side of caution and keep in mind that glaucoma can be successfully treated if caught early.
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